Saturday 31 December 2016

Products That Wooed Me In 2016

Throughout 2016 I have gone through phases with my makeup, either buying a lot in one go or nothing for a month or two. Nevertheless, I have found some amazing new picks that have transformed my makeup routine and I thought I'd share with you my run-down of the products that wooed me over the past 12 months. 

It's hard to narrow down a makeup product that wooed me the most, but if I was to pick just one palette it would be the Hourglass Surreal Light Palette. This limited edition offering has a marble exterior and it's dreamy contents cover all of your needs, from a highlighting powder to a stunning pink blusher. 

A new tool that I've been smitten with is the beauty blender* and I've actually slimmed down my brush collection massively because of this. It works my foundation perfectly into the skin for a flawless finish and it works amazingly well with my dryer skin this year. 

2016 has been the year of the highlighters and another pair I've been smitten with are the two Sleek Solstice and Cleo's Kiss palettes. Another new release that I have been thoroughly enjoying is the Cover FX Moonlight Enhancer Drops, a liquid highlighter that can be used to brighten up your complexion when mixed in with foundation or to enhance your natural glow on your cheekbones. 

I rediscovered my love for NYX this year with it being readily available in the UK, and the HD Concealer is one that I've repurchased time and time again. Although the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams were not a new release in 2016 ,they are a new addition to my makeup routine. Madrid, a deep red, London, a perfect nude and Copenhagen, a great burgundy hue, are three of my favourites and I have been wearing them non-stop this year. 

As for skincare, I've discovered some real gems including the Aesop Fabulous Face Oil and Mario Badescu Blemish Lotion which helps promote radiant and clear skin. A fake tan favourite this year was the Bondi Sands Liquid Gold, a Summer must-have for prepping my pins and make them look super healthy. 

The Lush Sleepy Body Lotion has been welcomed with open arms this year and it's such a shame that it's limited edition for Christmas as it's made such a difference to my nighttime routine. I think we ought to make a petition for it to become a permanent product in Lush.

I had to give a quick mention to the Lee Stafford Chopstick Styler*, a recent addition, but one that I haven't put down. It's creates a mass of voluptuous curls which last for several days and can be used in a wide variety of hair styles. 

What products have you been loving this year? 

Friday 30 December 2016

New Year's Eve Makeup

With New Year's Eve just around the corner, I have started planning my makeup for the big night. Although it's not my favourite event of the year, I still like to make an effort and create a look that will last throughout the whole night. 

The Too Faced Hangover Primer is a must-have for longevity as it creates a flawless base, whilst delivering a boost of hydration and keeping dry skin at bay. I personally love using this after a thick moisturiser and before using the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum for the perfect dewy, radiant skin. I follow up using the Bourjois Radiance Concealer under my eyes to brighten and I like to set it using the NYX HD Loose Powder to reduce the size of my pores, whilst adding radiance in all the right places. 

I will probably go for a full contour using my Sleek Contour Kit* which has an array of cream colours that will suit all my needs and then set it using the Benefit Hoola bronzer* to add warmth to my complexion. As for blusher, I want one that will perk up my skin, especially as it has been looking pretty lacklustre after all the chocolate I've been eating over Christmas, so the Nars Dual Intensity Blush in Fervor is the perfect pick. 

For the eyes, I have been reaching for the Tanya Burr Birthday Suit palette, a budget option that creates a really easy, natural smoky eye. After a bit of mascara and creating a strong winged eyeliner, I go onto my lipstick. My one of choice is Topshop Beguiled, a berry offering that lasts on the lips, whilst still being super moisturising. I then spritz some of the Aerin Lilac Path perfume on myself before heading out! 

What makeup are you wearing this New Year's Eve?

Thursday 29 December 2016

10 Things To Do In 2017

Despite a few hiccups in 2016, I actually found that it was one of my best years and after such a good Christmas, I feel super motivated and determined to make 2017 the best year yet. I have compiled a list of things I want to do next year and I hope you'll find some inspiration in the list too. 

See A Performance Live | One of the best things I did this year was watch a comedian- Russell Kane- live and next year I've made it my mission that I will see a couple more too. Why not watch a Panto next Christmas, see your favourite singer or even just see if there are any live performances in your area? 

Learn A New Skill | Learning sign language has been on my to-do list for ages now and I know I need to make it a priority in 2017. Whether it's learning more about the stars, playing an instrument or even just learning how to do your hair in a plait differently, it's always great to learn a new skill. 

Embrace Every Season | Although there are times throughout the year where I feel in a bit of a lull like the time between Christmas and New Year, I want to make the effort to embrace every season. Photographing the changing months, going to a fete in the Summer or a lambing event in the Spring are all ways to make the most of the seasons. It can be super easy to spend a bank holiday indoors doing nothing or never venture outside on a weekend, so a personal goal of mine is to make sure everyday counts. 

Grow A Plant | Growing a plant is so satisfying and keeping it alive is even more rewarding. If you fancy reminiscing about your childhood you could grow cress for your sandwiches or If you cook quite a lot maybe you'll want to grow a chilli plant. 

Set Yourself Monthly Tasks | If you run a blog, I often do this to keep things fresh. Whether it's setting yourself the task of daily blogging in January, posting pink themed photographs on Instagram in March or even wanting to gain ten followers on Twitter throughout June, creating tasks for you to complete is a great way to motivate yourself. I want to make sure I'm setting them in my daily life too. For example I want to finish the course I'm on by the end of February and make sure I complete a large volunteer task every month. 

Go To A Place You've Always Wanted To Go | Whether it's exploring a new country or, like me, going back to the Harry Potter studio tours, going to a place you've always wanted to go is a great way to find new places. I personally want to explore more of Wales and the countryside, snapping away with my camera and hopefully capturing a few animals in the misty mornings. 

Switch Your House Around | Sprucing up your homeware doesn't have to cost a penny and sometimes switching items is a great way to motivate you when you're in the Winter slump. Add plants in bare places, stack books on a shelf and switch your rugs around to fit your home. 

Start A Scrap Book | We've already started one, but unfortunately we haven't found the time to sit down and put in everything we've collected over the past year. In 2017 I want to make more of an effort to get creative and I think scrapbooking is a great activity for anyone to do too. Learning to knit is also something I want to learn over the next year too - I think I might start with something simple! 

Volunteer | Throughout 2016 I volunteered and it was the best decision I've ever made. It adds to my CV, has given me great opportunities and has made me feel super confident. I always scour Do-It for new volunteer jobs and I couldn't recommend it enough. 

Read More | I got back into reading this year and I want to make sure that I continue my nightly read for next year too. I would recommend writing down 10 books you want to read in 2017, including one thriller, one childhood favourite and one that will make you laugh! 

What are you planning to do in 2017?

Wednesday 28 December 2016

My Top Sale Picks

I've never been much of a sale fanatic as the shops are usually overcrowded and the items on offer are never anything I'd usually buy anyway. However, this year along online shopping has completely changed my mind, so after scouring the internet I have selected my top sale picks to share with you. 

I've picked up a pair of bunny slippers in the sale to keep my tootsies warm and I definitely won't be opposed to picking up a new top or two as well. I currently have my eyes on this Missguided Ribbed Pocket Sweatshirt and Topshop Polly Bardot Top, two pink offerings that would be a great addition to my wardrobe. Of course, I couldn't help but see if there's anything in the sale for my home, Urban Outfitters and Anthropologlie are always my first port of call - This dreamy throw is calling my name at the moment.

Have you bought anything in the sale this year? 

Saturday 24 December 2016

A Christmas Eve Pamper

Christmas wouldn't be the same without a pamper and a long Lush bath in a mountain of bubbles. As I watch my favourite festive films and delve into the tin of Quality Street, I like to paint my nails, put on a face mask and thoroughly relax before the big day. 

Of course I always have the same struggle every year - what Lush product do I use? I'm currently smitten with Snow Angel to make my water feel super silky soft, however the Magic of Christmas wand always beats it in the end. To make my body smell good enough to eat, I like to slather on the Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Body Soufflé, specifically concentrating on all my dry patches. I know that I'll probably venture out for a few drinks and if I dare to go bare on my legs then I will then apply the Zoella Body Fondant or Dove DermaSpa Silky Body Oil* which acts as a dreamy highlighter for your pins. 

As I've previously mentioned in other posts, I will be opting for dewy skin and a red lip around the festive season and prepping for these are very important. I like to scrub my lips so they'll feel super soft, before applying a layer of Nuxe Reve De Miel* as an overnight treatment. For my skin, I have been really enjoying using the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel to add radiance and deliver a moisture boost after exfoliation. A new release in my routine is the Origins RitualiTea Feeling Rosy Mask*  which I was sent a deluxe sample of to try out and have been saving one third of it for Christmas eve. This powder mask transforms into a creamy offering that softens and comforts the skin, ready for the last part of my skincare routine; applying a thick layer of my most hydrating moisturiser! 

I'm going to freshen up my mani ready for Christmas by applying a couple of layers of Essie's Penny Talk -my favourite metallic hue-to my nails for a festive finish. To treat my hands even more, I will be applying Lush Lemony Flutter to my cuticles to prevent them from cracking and to keep my hands feeling genuinely nourished. 

Are you pampering yourself this Christmas eve? 

Friday 23 December 2016

Festive Gold Eyes

I couldn't do a Christmas red lip post with doing a festive gold eye one too, so with just a couple of days to go until the big day, I thought I'd share with you my top picks for the season. 

If I'm looking for a light wash of colour or a highlighter for the inner corners of my eyes then I always reach for the Nars Rigel Eyeshadow, a dreamy must have for the Christmas parties! Another single eyeshadow I've recently dug out is the Clarins Aquatic Rose* offering; a one sweep wonder that gives the perfect hit of rose gold to my makeup. The H&M Eyeshadow in Paradise Lost, a champagne pink that has speckles of gold in, makes for a great Christmas pick too. 

Sometimes the best golds are found within palettes and the hue pop in the Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita is the perfect intense shade when applied with a wet brush and it contrasts well with a darker matte brown for a super easy smokey eye.  

The Zoeva Rose Golden Palette* has the perfect ten shades for the festive season, ranging from a rich metallic copper to a foiled golden hue. This palette is very limited online, but the cocoa blend palette looks like a great alternative with similar golden shades. Zoeva's palettes are incredible affordable and the formulas they use are super dreamy and creamy, perfect for blending. 

If you're looking for a palette that not only serves you up a lot of golden tones but will cover you for all occasions, then look no further because the Urban Decay Naked 3- a twelve shadow palette- is a divine option. The rose gold and dark gold hues all work in sync together to create a shimmery, smokey eye that looks perfect paired with a vivid red lipstick. 

What eyeshadow are you wearing this festive season? 

*PR Sample/Gifted

Thursday 22 December 2016

How To Drift Off Quicker This Winter

I always struggle to fall asleep at this time of year, I'm sure it's due to the excitement (or stress!). I've got a few new ways to help me drift off easier, so I thought I'd share with you my top tips today. 

A new addition to my routine has been the Lush Sleepy Body Lotionwhich I tend to apply on my wrists and chest before I hop into bed so that I reap the benefits whilst the lavender helps me to drift off. Unfortunately Sleepy is only available around Christmas (We need to start a petition to get it permanently!), but I have found several alternatives for when my stock runs out - The Neal's Yard Lavender Body Lotion looks great. 

I've actually done a complete post about 5 ways to sleep better, but to summarise I like to create a similar routine that I perform each night, like doing my nighttime skincare routine before applying all my lotions and potions and then reading at least a chapter of my book each night. The biggest different to my routine has been banning my phone for up to half an hour before I go to sleep to help me dream better. Talking of dreams, I've got this new book called Dreamopedia which is super interesting if you like to know the simple meanings of your dreams when you wake up! 

Another must have of mine is the This Works Deep Sleep Spray, a miracle worker in my eyes that helps me settle down when I'm feeling anxious or stressed. I simply spritz this a few times whilst I start reading my book and it helps my brain know that it's nearly time to catch a few winks. 

How do you sleep better during the festive season? 

Tuesday 20 December 2016

Lee Stafford Chopstick Curler

Lee Stafford Chopstick Curler

Lee Stafford Chopstick Curler
I've been dying to try the Lee Stafford Chopstick Curler* ever since I saw Zoella using it. Whilst I was skeptical at first as I already have curly hair, I thought it was about time I shared with you my new favourite tool that I've been using daily. 

The thin style wand gives the best tight curls that can be easily toned down with a comb-through from your fingers, but I do warn you that you shouldn't use a brush to loosen the curls as this will end in frizzy, wavy hair. I though that this would take a long while to curl my whole head, but as this heats up to 200 degrees almost instantly combined with the fact that when you're hair is wrapped about the barrel, you only need to keep it on there for 5 seconds to get a perfectly formed curl, I actually get my hair done faster using this than a usual curling wand. 

To treat my curly hair woes, I like to apply the Schwarzkopf Hair Oil to the ends to keep dry hair at bay. My top tip when using this is to make sure you start the curls right at the root as its really easy to end up with a gap of straight hair at the top. The curls start to wear off on day two, but still look super good until day three when you might need to re-curl if you want a more structured look. 

If you want a tool for party-ready hair this Christmas, then look no further because this is one that I've barely put down all month. 

Have you tried the Lee Stafford Chopstick Curler? 

Sunday 18 December 2016

Getting Party Ready

Okay, so I haven't got any Christmas party plans, but I'm sure that I will head out for a few cocktails between now and New Years Eve. I have recently devised a pamper and effortless makeup routine that will help me get party ready. 

For a party skin pick me up, you can't beat the Una Brennan Vitamin C Exfoliator and Soap and Glory Body Scrub to prep your skin for fake tanning, keeping dry skin at bay and genuinely just giving it a lovely radiance. After shaving and moisturising with the Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Body Souffle to give my skin a sweet treat, I then go onto my makeup, where I like to bring out all of the sparkly picks. 

I don't do anything special with my base makeup except for set it a little more using the NYX HD Loose Powder to disguise large pores and to keep my skin looks super smooth.The Bourjois Radiance Reveal Concealer is a new addition to my makeup routine after I went on the search for a bright, pale concealer to highlight my under eye area. Although the shade I picked -01 Ivory- is slightly deceiving as it goes on yellow but settles down to a more pink toned hue, it's nothing that a bit of powder can't fix. It's super lightweight on the skin, yet covers a magnitude of sins - Perfect for party touch ups! 

Of course highlighter is high on my priority list because dewy skin is a must-have during the festive period. I like to double up, using both the Cover FX Moonlight Enhancer Drops and The Balm Mary Lou Manizer to add a sheen to the skin, whilst the Hourglass Luminous Flush Ambient Lighting Blush is perfect for adding a slight colour to my cheeks after contouring. 

The eyes and lips are where I like to experiment as I always reach for the bronze eyeshadow quads, sparkly offerings and anything that screams Christmas to me - Like a vibrant red lipstick. The Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette is super gorgeous and is an easy way to create a soft, smokey eye especially if you're staying away or if you need something quick to put on. 

Are you going to any parties this Christmas? 

Saturday 17 December 2016

Wearing Red Lipstick This Christmas

Red lipsticks are a must have for me around the festive period, but it's taken me a while to build up a collection of hues and practice the way I apply them. From picking a cool or warm toned red to choosing the right formula for you, today's post is all about how I get a perfect red lip during the Christmas season. 

My lips have been super dry this season and although I've been using the Nuxe Reve De Miel as a lip mask overnight, I have been seeking out a lightweight offering to wear under lipstick. The Carmex Vanilla Lip Balm* gives me just the right amount of hydration underneath lipstick, whilst giving a slight tingling feeling to make them feel super plumped and nourished. 

For me, my go-to formula is matte as it increases longevity and is easier to not smear around your mouth when you're tucking into your fifth sausage roll. The NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Madrid is perfect if you need a quick touch as I actually find this is really easy to reapply without a mirror - A great Christmas party pick! If you're looking for a glossier offering then the Clinique Pop Lip Colour in Passion Pop would be your best option. 

Aside from formula and finish, it's also important to pick a colour that you feel comfortable in. I'm not a huge fan of orange toned red lipsticks as I find they wash me out, however dark red hues go beautifully with my skin complexion. Nars Cruella is what I call the perfect statement red, as although it's bright and slightly blue toned (making your teeth look whiter!), it can be easily customised to create a dark red and worn alone it looks great on everybody. 

I always use a lipliner if I'm wearing a red lipstick that is prone to bleeding or that needs a sharp, clean edge to look good. MAC's Cherry Lipliner is a go to of mine and although it's actually quite a vibrant red, I feel like it goes with a variety of lipsticks of mine and can be easily used as a base colour on your lips. If I've applied too much product, I always used this hack to avoid getting lipstick on my teeth, or I will simply blot my lips with a piece of tissue.

Will you be wearing a red lipstick this Christmas? 

Thursday 15 December 2016

Creating A Flawless Base This Winter

The other week I wrote about my top tips when picking the right foundation for you, so today I thought I'd share with you how I create a flawless base in just a handful of steps. 

It Starts With The Skincare | A flawless base starts at skincare, so making sure you've exfoliated and moisturised will help keep any dehydrated skin or dullness at bay. I could do a whole different post on choosing the right moisturiser for your complexion, but when you want to wear one underneath it's important to get one that will nourish the skin, but still be easily absorbed to avoid your makeup from slipping off. 

Primers | I've always had a love-hate relationship with primers because although I've always thought they were rather pointless, they do create a lovely base for your foundation to sit on and the Too Faced Hangover Primer is a go-to of mine every day. If you're looking for your base to last all day, but you don't want to use any product underneath, then the Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray is the perfect alternative. 

Getting the right amount of foundation | Some foundations need to be applied in layers, building up the coverage as you go, whereas other foundations can be instantly cakey looking if you apply too much product and you try to blend it in anyway. Finding the right amount of foundation to apply is one of my top tips that has really transformed my base. I always go for the smaller amount and then build up to ensure that I don't go OTT too quickly. 

Sponge or Brush? | Personally nothing gives me more a natural, flawless base than a Beauty Blender, but there are many other options on the market if you prefer a brush. The Zoeva Silk Finish brush is perfect for buffing into the skin whilst retaining coverage, but for me nothing gets into all the nooks and crannies better than a sponge. The beauty blender works amazingly when dampened as it doubles in size, applies the product smoothly and easily makes an air brushed, flawless base. 

Concealer and Face Powder Tips | Whenever I'm doing my makeup I always like to remember that using highlighting powders underneath the eyes can enhance dark circles, so to opt for a highlighter in the inner corner of the eyes if I'm looking to create a wide, doe eyed look. When I'm concealing underneath my eyes I like to use a concealer a couple of shades lighter than my skin tone to really brighten my eye area. To set my base, I couldn't recommend the NYX HD Loose Powder enough, especially if you suffer with large pores or you're looking for a powder that actually does something without being traceable on the skin.

How do you create a flawless base? 

Wednesday 14 December 2016

5 Things To Do This Christmas

I'm finally getting into the Christmas spirit and although there's now less than two weeks left until the big day, I've still got a handful of things I want to do this festive season. 

Pick Up A New Festive Read | When its chilly outside, all I want to do is snuggle under a blanket or two and delve into a festive read. Although I'm currently reading all the Harry Potter's which makes me feel super cosy, the Christmas at The Comfort Food Cafe is next on my list as the first instalment was so good and never failed to put a smile on my face. 

Have A Pamper | This always seems to be on my to-do list, but there's never a better time to pamper yourself than Christmas. The Lush Magic Wand is my favourite pick at the moment to create a pile of softening bubbles to fall into, before slathering myself with the Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Body Souffle to make my skin good enough to eat and painting my nails with a festive Essie offering - Penny Talk is my favourite! I'm thinking of treating myself to the new Diptyque candles in a festive scent, ready to sit down and watch Elf whilst eating my body weight in chocolate. 

Get Creative | Whether it's doing a bit of DIY with your Christmas decorations or baking up a few tasty treats, I always feel like getting creative at this time of year. These reindeer cupcakes and rice crispy christmas puddings are top of my list to make as they're too cute to resist. 

Try and Find The Best Christmas Lights | This has been a tradition of mine ever since I was little as I used to take a drive around my hometown trying to look for the best and brightest lights with my nan. We've found some amazing finds which often give all donations to a charity too, which definitely never fails to lift my spirits. 

Create A Christmas Playlist | I started creating my Christmas playlist much earlier than I care to admit, so I think I have created one that will keep you singing and dancing all day long (I dare you to listen to White Christmas without singing it like Kevin from Home Alone!) Here are my top picks below:

What have you got planned this festive season? 

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Glitters For The Festive Season

Aside from red lipstick, Christmas for me is all about cracking out the sparkle and experimenting with dewy, highlighted skin. Today, I thought I would give a round up of my favourite festive glitters to get your into the Christmas spirit with your makeup. 

Of course, this post wouldn't be the same without a Lush pick or two and the Snow Angel Bath Melt creates a silky, shimmery water for you to lay back and relax in. Although there is a lot of gold glitter on this luscious melt, I don't think it transfers onto my skin at all, instead it gives an overall glow. 

Mixing liquid highlighter in my foundation is something I have been doing recently to create a dewy base which brightens my lacklustre complexion; perfect after eating one too many Quality Street. I have then been using the Cover FX Moonlight Enhancer Drops to add a sheen to my cheekbones before dusting over the Mary Lou Manizer to set it. 

The eyes are where I like to concentrate my glitter as it's super easy to create a dreamy, festive look. I always bring out my MAC Tan Pigment at this time of year, as when its mixed with a light spritz of water on an eyeshadow brush before being pressed on the lid, it's long lasting and a great contrasting colour. The Nars Rigel Eyeshadow- a much loved favourite of mine- looks absolutely gorgeous when worn in the inner corner of the eyes and looks amazing paired with a soft brown in the crease. MAC All That Glitters is a great alternative if you want something a bit paler instead. 

The easiest way to wear glitter around this time of year is on your nails as they look great when worn over colour or on their own to jazz up a Christmas party look. Essie's Penny Talk, a rose gold hue is too pretty to miss, but Essie's Summit Of Style looks great on the tips on the nails for a different spin. 

Do you wear more glitter about the festive season? 

Monday 12 December 2016

Creating Dreamy Photographs For Your Blog

When it comes to blogging, for me, photography is one of the biggest frustrations, yet is the most rewarding aspects when done right. Although there's no such thing as a perfect picture, I've been requested to continue with my photography series, so today's addition is going to be about how to create a dreamy looking image. 

Depth Of Field | This is the most important aspect of dreamy photography if you're after that gorgeous, blurry background from a DSLR camera. If I was to put it simply, the smaller the f-stop is, the blurrier your background will be and vice versa. I tend to take my photographs using a f2.8 when I want a sharp foreground, yet a dreamy backdrop, but this changes depending on the lighting and shutter speed I use. If you're more of a lifestyle blogger, then I would recommend playing around with 'bokeh' too; a more advanced technique which can create lots of soft orbs of light and will help you help you achieve easy photographs to use. This website is great for reference and for learning more about the art of depth of field for a DSLR. 

Lighting | Personally I love an cloudy, yet bright day to take photographs as the white skies act as a soft box and you get a gorgeous, easy to edit image at the end of it all. Saying this, I have been experimenting with taking photographs as the sun sets or when the light peeks through the blinds in the early morning - Zoe New Love and Barely There Beauty have beautiful examples of both of these, so I would definitely recommend checking them out. If you're looking to create dreamy landscape images, then going out during the misty mornings or golden hour is a great way to capture gorgeous shots - However, make sure you know what you want to shoot first (ie. crisp leaves or a field of blooming flowers) to optimise your time. 

The Angle | As a massive flatlay fiend, I will always be drawn there, but it is sometimes hard to nail the right composition so I've got a fool-proof place to take dreamy alternatives. Shooting from the side makes sure that you don't have to battle too much with the varying focus points or shadows, plus it makes it super easy to shoot in bulk once you've got the perfect set up. If you are looking to create a dreamy flatlay then you really can't beat flowers as a prop as they fill out any negative corners, but books, mirrors and greenery make great props too.

Fill The Space | As I previously mentioned, props are a huge part of my blog photography and my brain is always thinking about what I can use next. I've started incorporating mirrors into my photographs as I find the reflections give the illusion of a fuller image, whilst still enabling me to use a blurry background. Fairy lights, cups of tea and using your own laptop as part of an image are great ways to fill out an image and really get the zoom on your product too. Although I love the "my makeup bag just fell like this" look, I do like keeping it simple and filling the area with a white, blank space to make sure the product is the main focal point. 

Backgrounds + Colours | When creating a swoon-worthy image, it is important to think of the complimenting colours and dreamy backgrounds that can be used to accommodate the product(s) you are showing. For me, I can't get enough of pink and marble backgrounds at the moment; however clothing, rugs and blankets are  great way to create easily styled images that can be taken with only limited light as it doesn't matter if there are varying shadows being cast. It's good to keep in mind that you want the product you're focusing on to contrast well with the background, for example a white product won't particularly stand out with a plain, white background, so instead opt for a coloured notepad, copper homeware or a textured throw to put behind it. These Paperchase Copper Bells are also the perfect addition to a photograph, however golden rings and eyelash curlers are great too! 

From Roses (who has the ultimate dreamy stock image shop), New Darlings, Gemma Louise, Friday Faye, Amy Rebair and Jodie Melissa are just a few of my photography favourites for you to check out. 

Have you got any tips of creating dreamy photographs? 

Friday 9 December 2016

Growing Your Hair Long and Strong

I've struggled with growing my hair for as long as I can remember because of my curly and extremely damaged hair from years of dying. At times it felt like I would never have locks that fell over my shoulders. That was until I followed a few simple steps and my hair has never felt softer and healthier. 

Supplements | Biotin was the first method I tried as I wanted to give it a big boost before I started to properly incorporate different methods in to my routine. Biotin actually helped me start to regrow the hair I lost from wearing clip-in hair extensions and after taking them for a month I noticed a huge difference in the quality of my hair. I know not everyone will be a fan of taking supplements, so I have devised a few other techniques to try. 

Oil Is Your Friend | I'm lucky as I've never had oily hair, in fact I can go five days without needing to reach for the shampoo, but recently I have made the most of this and kept my hair up for as long as I possibly could. 

My Own Take On The Inversion Method | If you're unsure what the inversion method is then it's basically applying warm oil to your scalp and then massaging it for five minutes with your head upside down before washing it out. Although I've tried this several times, I'm not a massive fan of washing my hair often and getting oil in my hair that won't come out, so I adapted this method to suit me. Firstly, I don't use oil unless I'm near needing a shampoo and when I don't want to use my fingers to massage, I always reach for the Genie Head Massager to do all the hard work for me - plus it makes me feel super sleepy! This stimulates hair growth at the roots which results in softer locks and helps with my sparse hairs at the front of my head. 

Hair Masks | I don't know where I'd be without a hair mask or two as I rely on these to keep my ends hydrated. As someone who used to skimp on the conditioner, I know the importance of giving my locks some extra TLC in order to prevent split ends and promote glossy looking hair. My favourites have got to be the Lee Stafford Hair Growth Treatment*, Sachajuan Hair Repair and Davines Nounou Mask*

Care For Your Hair | One of my biggest top tips is caring for your hair and treating it as if it's made out of silk. I try my best to not brush it vigorously or catch it in any fastenings, which could cause breakages. Although it's very easy to skip the scissors, I've actually found getting a trim every few months helps with the overall condition and length of my locks. I personally prefer to chop my own hair as I know what I'm getting, but there are many hairdressers out there that can offer you a decent trim too. 

What are your methods to growing your hair long and strong? 

*Pr Sample/Gifted 

Thursday 8 December 2016

Sleek Cleopatra's Kiss Highlighter Palette

 A new addition to my highlighter collection is the Sleek Cleopatra's Kiss, a quad made up of four dreamy, golden hues that look perfect paired with a red lip for any Christmas parties you may be attending. I previously spoke about this offering in a highlighter post I did a few weeks back, so today I thought it was about time that I dedicated a whole post to it. 

This palette is made up of two cream highlighters and two powders which coincide to create a range of gorgeous shades. Although I'm not usually a cream fan when it comes to the Sleek highlighting quads, it was actually dynasty that drew me to this palette as it adds a sheen to the skin and intensifies any highlighting powder that is put on top of it.  

So what's the difference between this offering and the solstice pick? Despite this being golden in hue and would look gorgeous on dark skin tones, I can't help but think this looks a little bit more subtle when worn. The two powder picks are super gorgeous and look great with minimal blusher and lots of bronzer! Although I still think Solstice comes out on top because I like an intense look, this is still a dreamy addition to my makeup bag. 

Have you tried the Sleek's Cleopatra's Kiss quad?

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Easy Ways To Cut Your Routine In Half

Simplifying your skincare routine can be a task if you're a blogger like myself and are constantly trialling out new products. In the morning, if I'm in a rush I tend to go in with a refreshing face wash, followed by a spray on toner like the La Roche Posay offering and then finish it with a moisturiser to help prep my skin for makeup. For the evening, I struggle the most as I like to use a double cleanse, serum and mask on top of my usual products. The best way to cut your routine is to use products that don't need a lot of work, such as the Garnier Micllear Water to remove your makeup and multitasking products like the the Avene Hydrance Serum* that acts as both a serum and primer. 

I've done a lot of research of multitasking products and simple ways to cut time. One of the most helpful tips I've found is whilst brushing your teeth, you can scrub your lips too,;this means that your lips will feel softer and your lipstick will go on easier. Another top tip of mine is if you're opting for little to no makeup, splashing your face with cool water can help to reduce the size of your pores and waken you up too - I've got to credit Martha Stewart for those tips! 

Although I try and make sure my makeup products are all in one place, it can take me an extra ten minutes trying to rifle through it all looking for a particular blush or lipstick to use. One of my top tips is to reach for a palette that contains all of the powders you need, for example the Hourglass Surreal Light Palette is great if you're a regular user of face powder, bronzer, blush and highlighter as it is all in one place. 

For my hair, I tend to usually embrace my natural curls by spritzing in the Sachajuan Ocean Mist to create soft, floaty locks that last all day. If you want a style which requires minimal heat then there's a lot of Pinterest hacks to help you like this one, however I am a fan of a messy bun when I need to get out of the house quickly.  

In terms of my showering, the best way to cut time is by using an in-shower moisturiser, and with the new Lush Christmas collection being released, the Snow Fairy Body Conditioner is the perfect addition. Once applied, left on for a minute or so and then washed off it gives an instant dose of hydration and allows you to skip applying moisturiser after the shower too. If you're not a fan of the sweet scent, then I would recommend looking into the Ro's Argan Body Conditioner as this floral fragrance still lingers on the skin, whilst being just as nourishing. 

Do you have any methods that help you cut your routine in half? 

Tuesday 6 December 2016

A Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Fillers

- This Post Is In Collaboration with Skate Hut and Bliss - 

Although I love treating my loved ones to a main present, I can't help but by a stocking filler or two. From a chocolate treat to a few pamper picks, I thought I would include another post in my Christmas guide instalment ranging from affordable to more luxury items. 

Beauty products are always a good stocking filler option and the lip balms or products always go down a treat. Bliss are a brand I've previously spoken about before when it comes to body care and they do so many sets that would be perfect for Christmas gifting. 

A lot of brands have come out with baubles and crackers for Christmas and I have to say I have a few of them on my wishlist already. I would recommend looking at Charlotte Tilbury Party Eyes Kit for a luxe treat or Cowshed Cracker for a budget offering. 

Without a doubt I always scroll through Skate Hut for my boyfriend every Christmas and birthday, looking for a few extra presents to buy as he loves their designs, styles and range of clothing brands. In fact, I tend to get his main presents from here too! 

If you're really stuck then Lush is a good option too, especially if you know the person enjoys long baths, pampering and bubble bars. They have many Christmas kits for all needs and price ranges, but if all else fails, a single bath bomb or fun bar is a perfect stocking addition. 

Monday 5 December 2016

Feel Good TV Sitcoms Worth The Watch

When it comes to binge watching TV shows, I tend to opt for sitcoms when I need a pick me up. With Christmas coming up, there isn't a better time to sit down and snuggle up with a few TV series to sink yourself into. Even writing this post put a huge smile on my face and made me giggle throughout, so today I thought I'd share with you five of my favourite TV sit coms to watch. 

The Goldbergs | I don't think I've gone a day without referencing Bevelery Goldberg, as this show is one of my favourites to watch when I'm wrapped up in blankets and need something to put a smile on my face. This show follows a funny family set in the 80's ran by the ultimate "smother" and it never fails to make me laugh with each episode. 

My Family | I recently mentioned my love for My Family on Twitter and I was pleased to hear that so many people love it as much as I do. This feel-good show makes me feel nostalgic and is the perfect pick me up for chilly evenings. Almost every episode makes me belly laugh and with eleven series, you'll be able to watch the Harpers for hours on end. 

Gilmore Girls | I've finished all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls and when the new revival episodes came out, I finished them within 48 hours. If you're looking for a series that is easy to watch and easy to follow, whilst making you laugh then I couldn't recommend this more.

Drifters | With the new season recently being released, I made it my mission to re-watch all of the old episodes and I actually forgot how much I enjoy this. This definitely isn't family friendly, but it's great if you're a fan of The Inbetweeners and Fresh Meat like myself. 

Friday Night Dinner | This is another one that I love to rewatch time and time again as its super easy to pop on when I need cheering up. This programme is about a jewish family and the antics that goes on during their Friday night dinner.

What are your favourite sitcoms to watch?  

Sunday 4 December 2016

My Top Berry Lipstick Picks

With Christmas fast approaching and being in the midst of the cold, chilly weather I thought it was about time that I embraced the darker looking lip. From rich berries to vibrant reds, I have been loving a wide variety of hues, so today I thought I'd share with you my top dreamy picks. 

First up is the Topshop Beguiled Lipstick, a new addition to my makeup bag, but one that I have worn almost everyday this week. I love wearing it on it's own, but it looks perfect paired with a bright red lipstick underneath. It's moisturising, has intense colour pay off and has great longevity, the only downfall is that it is easily transferred onto your teeth when applied, but that's nothing a quick mirror check can't fix. 

This line up wouldn't be compete without a mention of the NYX Soft Matte Lip Creams. Madrid, a dark red hue and Copenhagen, a vampy berry shade are two of my go-to   offerings when I want a lipstick to last for hours and top up with ease. 

The Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils have been a must have of mine for a long time now and of course, I still have a few on my wishlist. Damned is currently at the top as I think it would look great over the festive period. My favourite pick at the moment is hands down Cruella, a vivid red that compliments my complexion and acts as both a lipstick and lip liner for when I need a fast application in the mornings.  

MAC Diva has been in my collection for years now and I always pull it out every Winter. This matte burgundy hue looks great when worn with a natural eye and all black outfit, for a simple, yet bold berry lip look. Although the matte lipsticks from MAC usually get the repetition of being extra drying, this offering still lasts long, without dehydrating my lips too much. 

What are your favourite berry lipsticks? 
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